08:59 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 23/10/2018

Op-Eds

ANA bridging the region

Released at: 13:53, 09/10/2018

ANA bridging the region

Mr. Masazumi Mark Sugi, General Director of ANA Vietnam (Photo: ANA)

Mr. Masazumi Mark Sugi, General Director of All Nippon Airways (ANA), Vietnam, tells VET about ANA's business in Vietnam and its plans for the future.

How have ANA’s business results in Vietnam been over the years? What is your view of the role ANA plays in the development of tourism and culture in Japan and Vietnam?

ANA took its very first flight in 1952, with only two helicopters. Today, 65 years later, it has grown into a world-class airline and the largest in Japan. It now carries 53.8 million passengers each year on 85 international routes and 116 domestic routes. While our previous growth was based on our domestic services, our international services are now driving growth as we further expand our network.

Bringing award-winning Japanese service and meticulous attention to detail to one of the world’s safest and most advanced global airlines, SKYTRAX has awarded its respected five-star rating to ANA for six consecutive years since 2013. We have also been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past ten years, in 2007, 2013 and 2018, making ANA one of only a few airlines to win this prestigious award multiple times.

To bridge the two countries of Japan and Vietnam, ANA has continually increased the capacity of its flights connecting major cities in the two countries since the early 2000s. ANA now operates three daily flights - two from Ho Chi Minh City and one from Hanoi. On the Hanoi-Tokyo (Haneda) route, ANA was the first airline to introduce the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 aircraft to Vietnam. 

To maximize the benefits to travelers between the two countries and bring the excellent services of Japan’s leading airline to Vietnamese customers, ANA HOLDINGS (ANA HD) formed a business and capital partnership with Vietnam Airlines in July 2016. ANA HD acquired a stake of about 9 per cent in the carrier for a total of VND2.431 trillion ($109 million). 

ANA and Vietnam Airlines’ passenger market share on routes connecting Japan and Vietnam is now 80 per cent compared to ANA’s previous market share of 20 per cent. ANA saw a 30 per cent per year increase in revenue from a rise in passenger numbers thanks to an additional service between Tokyo (Narita) and Ho Chi Minh City, the Frequent Flyer Program, and enhanced codeshares.

What have been the results of the partnership between ANA and Vietnam Airlines? What benefits has the cooperation brought to tourism development in the two countries?

ANA’s sustainable growth is in line with increasing customer convenience and satisfaction. Generally speaking, flight schedules that are synchronized with customers’ travel plans are a source of competitive advantage. As our network has broadened, so have travelers’ flying options.

ANA formed the partnership with Vietnam Airlines to contribute to the future growth of Japan and Vietnam’s relationship. The partnership began on October 30, 2016 and engages ANA and Vietnam Airlines in codeshare agreements and shared mileage programs. 

The codeshare partnership covers 12 international routes as well as 25 principal domestic routes in both countries. This allows passengers to travel more conveniently throughout the region. Moreover, ANA supports Vietnam Airlines in its efforts to improve its service quality by sharing our experience from our constant endeavors to do the same.

The frequent flyer partnership allows members of the ANA Mileage Club (AMC) and Lotusmiles to accumulate miles on codeshare flights operated by Vietnam Airlines and ANA. Members also have the opportunity to redeem awards on all Vietnam Airlines and ANA marketed and operated flights. 

In addition to capital investment, the commercial partnership will allow ANA and Vietnam Airlines to extend and enhance their services across Asia, taking advantage of the increasing demand for air travel and cargo in the region.

How do you view the potential of Vietnam’s aviation sector? What are the challenges in operating in Vietnam and what does this mean for ANA HD in Vietnam?

In 2017, Vietnam recorded GDP growth of 6.7 per cent and is emerging as one of the most dynamic economies in Asia. In addition to contributing the most robust investment flows ever seen from a Japanese enterprise into Vietnam, we are highly optimistic about Vietnam’s economic environment and aviation sector as a whole. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that Vietnam’s aviation sector will cater to 59 million passengers and 1.6 million tons of cargo by 2019. ANA HD and ANA’s contributions have played a role in this growth.

Most of Vietnam’s population is young and we believe they are the key drivers of the country’s future. ANA hopes to be the wings that these young customers use to fly out into the world for higher education, travel, business and exploration opportunities. As these young passengers mature, so will ANA. 

What are ANA’s plans in Vietnam in the time to come, especially in regard to tourism development in both Vietnam and Japan?

ANA HD, ANA Headquarters, and the ANA Vietnam team are working to realize our mission of generating increased tourism development in Japan and Vietnam. Just a few of the many activities we are working on include the following. 

ANA HD has partnered with the NHK Symphony Orchestra to help further an international exchange between Japan and Vietnam.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. At ANA HD, we believe that art and music bring people together, which is exactly what we aim to achieve with this concert series and partnership.

The opening concerts of the series in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi were on September 5 and September 7, respectively. ANA HD supported the travel of the NHK Symphony Orchestra members and the transportation of their delicate instruments.

ANA HD will contribute to Vietnam’s workforce development by undertaking a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement with the Vietnam-Japan University (VJU).

Vietnam is transforming from a quantity to a high-quality human resource-based economy and ANA HD, thanks to its sound experience and structure, is confident in its ability to guide Vietnam’s young workforce on their path into a new economic era. As the most effective and long-term contribution to Vietnam’s future growth, ANA HD is aiding educational organizations in Vietnam to deliver education in aviation and techniques to prepare graduates for the demanding working environment of the future.  

ANA HD shares this same vision of contributing resources to the young workforce and decided to work with VJU to realize this mission. With high hopes of becoming a center for cultural and academic exchanges between Vietnam and Japan, VJU is a new model university. It has Japanese qualities that have been adjusted to fit the needs of Vietnam and aims to become an international university, open to students from around the world. Any young Vietnamese with motivation and ambition will find the university an ideal place for post-graduate studies. VJU offers courses in many fields, including social and natural sciences. These courses enable students to thrive in Vietnam’s new economic era and adapt to the changing international workplace.

On September 21, the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and Japan, ANA HD and VJU organized a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement Signing Ceremony.
The Comprehensive Partnership Agreement covers five key aspects of cooperation: internship opportunities in both Japan and Vietnam, the sharing of knowledge related to the aviation industry and corporate management, research collaboration such as practical programs in the marketing field, public relations cooperation, and organizing events together to strengthen both brands and providing support for any special seminars or symposiums organized by VJU.

Through this Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, ANA HD hopes to contribute to VJU’s goal of becoming a globally-renowned university for Vietnamese talent.

ANA HD is ready for the influx of visitors for the Olympic Games in 2020 and the expansion of Tokyo Metropolitan Area airports.

In 2020, there will be a large number of travelers visiting Japan for the Olympics and this will provide an unprecedented opportunity to promote the appeal of Japan to the world. Japanese Government bodies are working on accelerating initiatives to further promote the inbound traffic, including those from Vietnam to Japan. At the same time, slot expansion is anticipated in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area airports. ANA is taking advantage of these major business opportunities by expanding its network to connect Japan to the world. In this case, additional flights to cities in Vietnam may be considered in the near future, so that passengers from Vietnam can connect to our wider route network.

Through these activities in Vietnam, ANA plans to help strengthen the relationship between Japan and Vietnam and enhance our Vietnamese customers’ quality of life.

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